VS.

Villein vs. Serf

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Villeinnoun

(historical) A feudal tenant.

Serfnoun

A partially free peasant of a low hereditary class, slavishly attached to the land owned by a feudal lord and required to perform labour, enjoying minimal legal or customary rights.

Villeinnoun

See Villain, 1.

Serfnoun

A similar agricultural labourer in 18th and 19th century Europe.

Villeinnoun

(Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord

Serfnoun

(strategy games) A worker unit.

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Villein

A villein, otherwise known as cottar or crofter, is a serf tied to the land in the feudal system. Villeins had more rights and social status than those in slavery, but were under a number of legal restrictions which differentiated them from the freeman.

Serfnoun

A servant or slave employed in husbandry, and in some countries attached to the soil and transferred with it, as formerly in Russia.

β€˜In England, at least from the reign of Henry II, one only, and that the inferior species [of villeins], existed . . . But by the customs of France and Germany, persons in this abject state seem to have been called serfs, and distinguished from villeins, who were only bound to fixed payments and duties in respect of their lord, though, as it seems, without any legal redress if injured by him.’;

Serfnoun

(Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord

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